Jarvis Inspires Jersey Victory
Jersey 23 - 29 Bristol Rugby
Bristol Rugby returned to winning ways with a nailbiting 29-23 victory over Jersey at St Peter.
Adrian Jarvis scored twenty-four points in a superb individual performance, as the visitors came from behind to end a run of two successive RFU Championship defeats.
Jarvis and Fautua Otto crossed for tries in the second period as Director of Rugby Andy Robinson began his reign at the helm with a win.
Jersey showed early initiative and went in front after two minutes, courtesy of Michael Le Bourgeois’ three-pointer.
Bristol almost struck back with a try when Luke Eves carved an opening, but - much to the relief of the home side - the centre’s attempted pass to Jon Goodridge flew into touch.
The visitors levelled proceedings shortly after as Adrian Jarvis landed a penalty goal in front of the posts.
Le Bourgeois nudged Jersey back in front at 6-3 with his second successful penalty goal of the afternoon, before Bristol missed a golden opportunity to seize the advantage.
Fautua Otto showed acceleration to burst clear and offload to Ryan Edwards, but the winger lost control of possession five metres from the line and the chance went begging.
After a period of sustained pressure from Robinson’s men, Jarvis landed a thirty-five metre penalty goal, while Jersey’s Guy Thompson couldn’t capitalise on a three-man overlap in a frenetic five minute spell.
As Jersey piled on the pressure, Glen Townson was yellow-carded for hands in the ruck, and Le Bourgeois struck in front of the posts to move the hosts 9-6 up.
Adrian Jarvis responded with a three-pointer of his own, but it was the home side who scored the opening try on the stroke of half time.
Captain Nick Griffiths finished a flowing Jersey counter-attack superbly, as the Channel Islanders went in 16-9 at the break.
With Bristol back to a full quota of players upon Townson’s return, Jarvis reduced the arrears with a penalty goal, before Marco Mama came close to finding an opening after George Watkins’ smart break.
The visitors fought back to within a point after Fred Silcock saw yellow for Jersey and, from the resulting penalty, Jarvis moved the score to 16-15.
But it was Jersey who pushed further ahead with a Guy Thompson try. After waves of attacking pressure, the no. 8 muscled his way over from close-range for a converted score.
Bristol found a route back into the game when Fautua Otto skipped through several challenges to dab down over the whitewash. Jarvis slotted the extras to set up a nervy finale at 23-22.
Le Bourgeois saw a forty metre penalty effort sail wide, before Adrian Jarvis turned the game on its head, waltzing past his marker to slide over for a converted try, to the delight of the travelling faithful.
Referee Ross Campbell played fifteen minutes of added time and, in the dying seconds, Jersey’s James Gethings was held up over the line after fine work from Rhys Lawrence, as Bristol sealed a valuable win.
Barry Davies; Mark McCrea, Max Stelling, Mark Foster, Ed Dawson; Michael Le Bourgeois, Nicky Griffiths (c); Sean McCarthy, Dave Felton, Jon Brennan, Rob Anderson, Dave Markham, Charlie Walker-Blair, Fred Silcock, Guy Thompson.
Replacements: Richard Barrington, (for Dave Felton, 44 mins), Elvis Taione (for Sean McCarthy, 44 mins), James Gethings, Kingsley Lang, Joe Buckle, Dave McCormack, Donovan Sanders.
Jon Goodridge; George Watkins, Fautua Otto, Luke Eves, Ryan Edwards; Adrian Jarvis, James Grindal; Kyle Traynor, Ross Johnston, Gaston Cortes, Mariano Sambucetti, Glen Townson, Iain Grieve (c), Redford Pennycook, Marco Mama.
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence (for Ross Johnston, 65 mins), Bruce Douglas (for Gaston Cortes, 49 mins), Roy Winters (for Mariano Sambucetti, 49 mins), Mitch Eadie (for Iain Grieve, 49 mins), Ruki Tipuna (for James Grindal, 53 mins), Tristan Roberts, Jack Tovey (for George Watkins, 65 mins).
Referee: Ross Campbell